Last month I wrote about kids being killed by guns. To give the issue a little more meaning, let’s look at three cases that were covered by the Columbus Dispatch and the Cincinnati Enquirer in the last three months.
June 5: a 14-year old boy in Hamilton, Ohio, died from a gunshot to the head. He and a 16-year old, who was holding the gun when it discharged, had been playing with the gun.
May 2: a 2-year old boy in Arizona was in critical condition after shooting himself in the face with his father’s handgun. The toddler found the gun on his father’s bed.
March 27: a 2-year old girl was shot in the head by her 5-year old brother in Highland Heights, Ky.
With stories like these, it’s no surprise that 25 preschoolers died in 2010 from accidental gun deaths and 201 were accidentally injured by guns. Add to those numbers 26 kids ages 10-14 who were accidentally killed and 265 who were accidentally injured by guns in 2010. When writing about accidental gun deaths, is it appropriate to mention the 54 toddlers and 107 kids ages 10-14 who were murdered that year with guns?
Guns are a public health issue, an idea that makes the National Rifle Association bristle. If the idea of guns being a public health issue doesn’t resonate with you, here’s a perspective that might help. The Center for Disease Control has compiled the Most Distinctive Causes of Death by State, 2001-2010, where the cause of death “is significantly higher than the national rate.” For Tennessee and Alabama, it was the accidental discharge of firearms, which accounted for 684 deaths in those states.
When it comes to gun laws, the NRA—which seems to oppose all gun laws—likes to tell us, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” I think the slogan is a little silly, but why argue? I just want to know why we don’t seem to be concerned about people accidentally killing people—with guns.
Jack D’Aurora writes for considerthisbyjd.com
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